Social Theory and Human Geography

  • Derek Gregory


In this chapter I explore some of the relations between human geography and social theory. I do not want to be drawn into any boundary disputes over the first of those terms — there have been too many deadening proclamations about the ‘nature’ or ‘spirit and purpose’ of geography — but I do need to say something about the second because I do not use it as a synonym for sociology or even social science. Instead I propose to treat social theory as a series of overlapping, contending and contradictory discourses that seek, in various ways and for various purposes, to reflect explicitly and more or less systematically on the constitution of social life, to make social practices intelligible and to intervene in their conduct and consequences. This is a bare-bones characterisation, but it does not limit social theory to any one discipline and it makes three closely connected claims that I hope will breathe life into the discussion that follows.


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© Derek Gregory 1994

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  • Derek Gregory

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